The UMBC men’s tennis team will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship tournament this upcoming weekend. They will do so in impressive fashion as they enter the tournament the number one seed despite it being their first season in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The teams success is due in large part to junior transfer Jaan Kononov, this week’s Athlete of The Week. Kononov, a decorated transfer from Armstrong State University, had a 7-4 record coming into last week and improved to 8-4 after defeating Stony Brook University’s number one player Raphaell Termet.
Kononov has been exceptional the whole season, starting off the 2014-2015 campaign with a statement victory over Mount Saint Mary’s Adam Salam, defeating him 6-0, 6-0. He followed up with a victory over George Mason University’s Tanner Baine at the GMU Invitational.
Kononov came to UMBC with impressive accomplishments already under his belt. In his time spent at Armstrong State Kononov earned Peach Belt Conference honors in two seasons. In his sophomore season he earned Peach Belt Conference most valuable athlete and during that campaign took his team to an appearance in the the Division II National Championship. He finished ranked nationally in the top 15 in singles and top five in doubles.
With Kononov coming off his recent victory competing at the level he is presently the Retriever’s tennis team has a good shot at claiming the MVC championship crown this upcoming weekend in St. Louis, Missouri.